That shrink-wrap was never difficult to tear off. The sleeve would slide out next. The weight would be just right and the hope would be for liner notes. The first time, you would let it slip by itself from the sleeve, gravity its only motivation. You’d check the surface, turn it over in your hands and dig the reflection. There was no need to but you’d blow of the dust from Side One even though you hadn’t seen any. If you’d planned it right, all you needed to do next was place it over the spindle and let it drop down. If you hadn’t, you would need to hold it in one hand by the middle-finger-in-the-center-thumb-on-the-edge stretch grip while you got everything ready with your other hand. Once it was in place all that was left to do was turn it up to speed and place the needle down. The first thing out of the speakers was not the music, but a hiss a pop or a crack. That was just the thing.
The pink slippers still fit. The white dress was in the closet when she looked. There was nothing else straight enough but the drinking straw pinwheel. It spun when she waved her arm. Teddy bears, soft bunnies and her dolls waited for her. She said some words that were too long. The dolls watched anyway. She waved the pinwheel and raised her arms. The teddy bears and bunnies and dolls would do just what she had told them. Once they stopped clapping and bowing, of course. She was the queen.
He turned the plastic handle in his fingers just so. The sun shone down. The driveway was the perfect place for them to travel, smooth, open and flat. It was also he best place for him to get the best view of them. Take the best aim. Yellow hot turned to white hot. He moved the magnifying glass across the line of them. One stopped, but kept moving forward. The one behind slowed inside the white but got through. The third seemed to be a goner but he too passed through. The magnifying glass was dropped to the side, down came the tennis shoe instead.